A SILENT TRIBUTE TO THOSE WHO FELL IN BATTLE
THIS was the moment Wales rugby stars, and their fans, paid an impeccable tribute to those who fought and died during World War I. Not a whisper could be heard during the two-minute silence before the match against Australia, which was observed by every single one of the 70,000 fans who watched the match inside the Principality Stadium.
Captain Alun Wyn Jones, and his Australian counterpart Michael Hooper, led the teams out with poppy wreaths as the national side joined in commemorative events across the country to mark 100 years since the guns of war fell silent in 1918.
It was one of a series of tributes paid by Welsh rugby, on a day in which they proved victorious over opposition they haven’t beaten for 10 years, which included Tommy silhouettes “guarding” the players’ tunnel for the clash against the Wallabies.
There were a further 13 smaller Perspex versions, featuring the names of the 13 Wales internationals who lost their lives during the conflict.
The marks of remembrance came ahead of Armistice Sunday today, which will see countless memorials across the UK and abroad, to honour the lives of those who paid the ultimate price.
Across Wales, venues and individuals also made their own tributes.
The Senedd in Cardiff has been lit up with a poppy memorial, while the Archbishop of Wales has urged churches to join the ringing of bells for peace today – just as people did spontaneously a century ago when news of the armistice spread across the country.
And just like in Cardiff, silhouettes of British Tommies have been positioned in locations across the country.
Margam Castle has also been bedecked with poppies, with a World War I theme to its first-ever flower festival, and minister for the environment Hannah Blythyn has announced a new tree planting project to mark 100 years since the end of tWorld War I.
The Royal British Legion, the armed forces charity behind the Poppy Appeal, has created Fields of Remembrance across six UK locations, including Cardiff.
Armistice day will see further tributes to the fallen taking place right across Wales.
In addition to wreath-laying ceremonies from Anglesey to Newport, beaches in Wales will take part in a UK-wide tribute by Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle.
The movie-maker, who was also behind the Olympics opening ceremony in London in 2012, is co-ordinating Pages Of The Sea – the commission for 14-18 NOW to mark the centenary of Armistice Day.
The event invites people to gather on selected beaches in an informal, nationwide gesture of remembrance for the men and women who left their home shores during World War I, where millions of people served and many left by sea.
Among them are Swansea Beach and Broad Haven in Pembrokeshire.
The chosen beaches will each feature the drawing of a large-scale portrait of a casualty from World War I, designed by sand artists Sand In Your Eye, which will be washed away as the tide comes in.
The public will also be asked to join in by creating silhouettes of people in the sand, remembering the lives lost or changed forever by the conflict.
The amazing floral displays at Margam Park Castle, as part of the Lest We Forget event, which has seen the castle filled with poppies and other floral arrangements
Danny Boyle’s UK-wide commission, Pages of the Sea, will mark the centenary of Armistice Day today